PRINCETON – The Johnston County Heritage Commission, alumni of Princeton Graded School, and TESS (Taking Education Skills Seriously) of North Carolina will unveil a new historical marker in a special ceremony planned for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 18 at the former Princeton Graded School located at 601 W. Edwards Street in Princeton.
The former school, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, was built between 1925-1926 with assistance from philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck, & Company. Rosenwald was inspired by Dr. Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute to establish a fund to construct schools for African Americans across the South. His matching dollars resulted in some 5,000 schools being constructed between 1912 and 1932, but only a few hundred are known to remain standing. Short Journey and Princeton are the only such schools remaining in Johnston County.
Public historian Sara Blanchett, will be the keynote speaker for the ceremony. Blanchett has worked in living history sites, historic sites, art museums, and community museums in North Carolina and Virginia and currently serves as Curator of Education for the High Point Museum. Actors portraying Rosenwald and Washington will be present, and the program will feature special music by Princeton-area churches. Lunch will be served following the unveiling.
The public is invited to this historic event. For more information, call the Johnston County Heritage Center at 919-934-2836 or visit the Center’s website.